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Senate to vote Tuesday on Biden's secretary of State pick

Senate to vote Tuesday on Biden's secretary of State pick
© AFP

The Senate will vote Tuesday on Tony Blinken's nomination to be President Biden's secretary of State.  

The vote, set to take place at noon, is expected to make Blinken the fourth Senate-confirmed Cabinet pick for Biden and the second to be confirmed this week. 

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerA Biden stumble on China? First Black secretary of Senate sworn in Republican Ohio Senate candidate calls on GOP rep to resign over impeachment vote MORE (D-N.Y.) scheduled Blinken's confirmation vote as the Senate wrapped up its work for Monday. 

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The move came shortly after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee signed off on Blinken's nomination in a 15-3 vote on Monday, paving the way for it to be taken up on the Senate floor. 

GOP Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief Boehner book jacket teases slams against Cruz, Trump Senate confirms Biden Commerce secretary pick Gina Raimondo MORE (Texas), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate confirms Rouse as Biden's top economist Overnight Health Care: 50 million coronavirus vaccines given | Pfizer news | Biden health nominees Rand Paul criticized for questioning of transgender health nominee MORE (Ky.) and John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoBiden returns to Obama-era greenhouse gas calculation Indigenous groups post billboards urging senators to confirm Deb Haaland Senate confirms former Michigan governor Granholm as Energy secretary MORE (Wyo.) opposed the nomination in committee. 

Democrats had hoped to confirm Blinken last week, but the Senate adjourned on Friday without taking up his nomination. 

"And as I said last week on the floor, the American people expect, and the Constitution requires, that we provide advice and consent to ensure that our top national security officials are confirmed in a timely matter. The office of the secretary of State is one of the most important national security positions in the government. It is fourth in the presidential line of succession. It cannot be left vacant," Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezBiden holds off punishing Saudi crown prince, despite US intel Senate confirms Thomas-Greenfield as UN ambassador The Memo: Biden bets big on immigration MORE (D-N.J.) said on Monday before the committee vote. 

The pace of Blinken's nomination is slightly slower than that of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClintons remember former adviser Vernon Jordan Biden praises Vernon Jordan: He 'knew the soul of America' The parts of H.R. 1 you haven't heard about MORE's 2009 confirmation to the same post for then-President Obama. Clinton was confirmed on the second day of that Democratic administration. 

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But it's still outpacing the confirmation of Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonLawmakers to roll out legislation reorganizing State cyber office New State Department cyber bureau stirs opposition Blinken tells State Department staff 'I have your back' MORE, former President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE's first secretary of State. Tillerson had his hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Jan. 11 but wasn't confirmed by the full Senate until Feb. 1. 

Blinken, who was previously deputy secretary during the Obama administration and advised Biden during the campaign, testified before the Foreign Relations Committee last week. 

During his hearing, he pledged to increase cooperation with Congress and keep the U.S. Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem and faced a wide-ranging grilling on top foreign policy hot spots including the Middle East, China and Russia.